Episode 053

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Episode 053

Casio to launch YouTube-optimised cameras – Technology – brisbanetimes.com.au
Casio to launch YouTube-optimised cameras
Japanese electronics maker Casio says it will launch a series of digital cameras specially designed for YouTube,
 the blockbuster video-sharing website.

The new Exilim series has four models, all installed with a function to shoot and save videos in the best form to

upload on YouTube, the company said.

 

next month, the company said.

Windows Vista SP1 weighs in at 1GB: News – Software – ZDNet Australia
Windows Vista SP1 weighs in at 1GB

Microsoft will release the first service pack for Windows Vista in Q1 2008 and the company has revealed that
test versions of the update are currently 1GB; Redmond also admitted it is working on Windows XP SP3.

As for what's in the Vista update, it's mostly a collection of existing fixes and tweaks aimed at improving stability
 and reliability of the operating system, which went on sale to consumers this January.

Lazy and impatient? Telstra has the answer: Blogs – Upwardly Mobile – ZDNet Australia
Near field communications — or NFC

Lazy and impatient? Telstra has the answer: Blogs – Upwardly Mobile – ZDNet Australia
Near field communications — or NFC

This month saw the announcement of a trial of NFC, with Telstra, NAB and Visa all taking part.

For those that haven't experienced the technology, it's simply a means of contactless payment using a mobile

handset. By tapping your phone — or for that matter your credit card — against a reader, you transfer a small

amount of money electronically to the shopkeeper and walk off with your shopping.

Picking up your newspaper? Put your mobile on the reader and you're done — no need to worry about having the

right cash to hand, queuing and so on. No need to even make polite conversation with the shop girl, should you be

so minded, just wave your phone and off you go.

The phone and the reader swap information instantaneously on how much money you have available (post pay or pre

pay, dependent on your fancy) and how much is being deducted for payment.

Typically, NFC shopping is restricted to small amounts — a newspaper, a bottle of juice, a train ticket — with users

obliged to enter a PIN if they want to splash out. That way, should you leave your mobile in the back of a taxi, you're

only losing AU$30 or so, tops.

Microsoft rolls out suite of free online apps – web – Technology
Microsoft rolls out suite of free online apps

Microsoft has introduced a suite of Windows Live online services bundled into a single download in its latest effort to

compete with Google's growing array of applications delivered over the web.

Microsoft released a test, or "beta," version of a free online software package available in a single download that

includes versions of email, instant messaging, photo gallery, blogging software and a security program.

The suite of web services – available at http://get.live.com/wl/all — will also automatically update with improvements

or new versions of those applications.

Apple announces iPod overhaul; cuts iPhone price – Sep. 5, 2007

Apple unveils new iPod with Wi-Fi

CEO Steve Jobs announced major upgrades to its popular music players; cuts iPhone

price by $200.

Early adopters sour over iPhone price cut – CNN.com
Early adopters sour over iPhone price cut

Meanwhile, gadget enthusiasts who snapped up the ballyhooed iPhone before Wednesday are coping with a bitter

aftertaste now that it is $200 cheaper within 10 weeks of its introduction.

The price cut, from $599 to $399 for the 8-gigabyte iPhone, immediately set off a debate on online tech forums

between early adopters, who said paying a premium price came with the territory, and those who said they felt burned.

The price reduction was too much too soon, some complained.

Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris said anyone who purchased an iPhone within the past 14 days and has the receipt

can get a full refund under Apple's return policy if they haven't opened the product. If they have opened it, they still

can get a refund of the price difference.

Apple's Jobs Sorry for iPhone Price Cut

Steve Jobs apologized and offered $100 credits Thursday

another late story 

POSTED Thursday, August 23, 2007

Toshiba unleashes 32-GB SD cards

Related Entries:  Portable Entertainment

 

Storage options for devices such as cell phones, digital cameras, and portable
 media players are changing. While it used to be that you could buy a small SD card for a bit of storage, deferring to
 spinning hard disks when you needed more, that's no longer the case. With expandable storage options changing,
platter-based drives are going out and flash drives are going in. Now that sizes of SD cards are getting bigger, people
will be swapping them out of players and phones like CDs.

Just take a look at these new Toshiba SD cards. They're the first to hit a whopping 32 GB, which is bigger than most

hard disk-based MP3 players. Imagine popping one of those in your digital camera; you'd never, ever run out of room.

And you could keep your entire music collection on one or two of them, swapping them out in your phone or player to

 

never be without your tunes. It's pretty great, and as soon as prices come down a bit look for them to be

everywhere. — Adam Frucci

Yahoo, via Coolest Gadgets

Send to a Friend  |   Digg This  |   See Linking Blog

torrentspy shuts down in the usa, because of infringement of privacy laws 

TorrentSpy shuts doors to America

Beats judge to punch

Published Tuesday 28th August 2007 00:37 GMT

Find your perfect job – click here from thousands of tech vacancies

Unwilling to compromise the privacy of its users, TorrentSpy has shut its doors to American file sharers. The move

came just hours before a U.S. judge denied an appeal from the company, insisting – once again – that it turn over

server logs detailing user behavior.

The Dutch file-sharing service announced its U.S. shutdown with a post to a company blog entitled TorrentSpy vs.

MPAA, a running account of its legal battle with the Motion Picture Association of America. "Torrentspy.com, an

International search engine that provides links to torrent files, has decided to stop accepting visitors from the

United States," the post read.

In May, after a lawsuit from the MPAA, Judge Jacqueline Chooljian – a federal judge in the Central District of

California – ordered TorrentSpy to save its server logs to disk and fork them over to the court as evidence in

the case. The logs include user IP addresses and lists of downloaded files. No American court had ever laid down

such an order, and many believe it has the power to erode privacy across the web.

TorrentSpy's server logs pass through system memory, but are never permanently recorded. The company argues

that saving this data would violate its privacy policy, and when Judge Chooljian's order went public, the Electronic

Frontier Foundation (EFF), a big-name privacy watchdog, launched a defense of its own. "We think it's a very

troubling ruling that goes well beyond TorrentSpy," EFF lawyer Fred von Lohmann told The Reg. "It potentially

allows any company's privacy policy to be re-written by its adversary's lawyers. It's a bad precedent to set."

Judge Chooljian granted a stay of the order, and TorrentSpy appealed. But this afternoon, not long after the

company announced its U.S. shutdown, the appeal was denied.

With its blog post, which went up late last night California time, the company insisted that the MPAA case and

its U.S. shutdown were not directly related. "Torrentspy's decision to stop accepting U.S. visitors was not

compelled by any court," the post reads. "Rather it arises out of an uncertain legal climate in the United States

regarding user privacy and the apparent tension between US and European Union Internet privacy laws."

When we contacted the company's lawyer, Ira Rothken, he said much the same thing. "Today, ironically, at around

noon Pacific time, we got served with an order denying the appeal," he said. In this case ironically means coincidentally.

He was adamant that no court order had forced TorrentSpy into its U.S. shutdown. "There was no court compelling us,

not even close," he said.

But he eventually admitted that the MPAA case was a "catalyst" in the decision. "TorrentSpy.com wants to honor its

privacy policy, and this ruling from the federal court in California seems to be at odds with its ability to do that,"

Rothken said. "So Torrentspy made the prudent decision to exit from the U.S." If the site isn't serving U.S. users,

there aren't any server logs to turn over.

Even so, TorrentSpy will continue to fight the MPAA's suit – and that looming threat to the privacy of web users

everywhere. The company has ten days to appeal Judge Chooljian's decision with a higher court, and it has every

intention of doing so. ®

Online shopping complaints on the rise – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Online shopping complaints on the rise

Posted 10 minutes ago

There has been a significant increase in the number of complaints in New South Wales by people who shop online.

Over the last four years the number of complaints has doubled to about 1,500 a year.

NSW Fair Trading Minister Linda Burney says customers should take extra precautions and be aware of hidden costs.

"Most of the complaints are around non-delivery or partial delivery of products and there are some very sad but

sometimes funny stories about what people actually end up with," she said.

"Someone ordered [what] they thought was a black leather and steel lounge, but they paid thousands of dollars for

it and when it actually turned up it was a very old black vinyl sofa."

Photos: Meet the iPod Touch – MP3 Players
Photos: Meet the iPod Touch

Jobs also announced a new venture with Starbucks (Charts, Fortune 500) whereby iPod Touch users who visit one of

the coffee house's outlets can download any song playing directly to their music player. They can also retrieve a list of

the last 10 songs that the Starbucks store played.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who joined Jobs on stage, said the new service will begin rolling out in early October

and will be available in 25 percent of the company's WiFi-enabled stores by next spring.

Apple has now sold more than 110 million iPods since they debuted in 2001

Windows Vista Team Blog : Announcing Windows Vista Service Pack 1 Beta
Announcing Windows Vista Service Pack 1 Beta

Now is the time and the time is now:  let's talk about Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1).  Much has been made of

what will or will not be included in SP1 and when it will be released (some accurate, some otherwise).  I'm here to set

the story straight:  we're in the process of developing and deploying a Beta version of SP1.  This post will describe for

you what to expect from that effort and how you can be involved in the process.

First, a note on service packs.  As you are aware, service packs are part of our traditional software lifecycle; they’re

something we do for most major products as a commitment to continuous improvement.  But, the servicing situation has

changed with the advent of Windows Vista, as we no longer rely solely on service packs as the main vehicle used to

deploy system fixes and improvements.  The Windows Update online service is one new way to deliver many OS

improvements.  For example, yesterday in advance of SP1 we released via Windows Update two separate improvements

to Windows Vista’s reliability and performance.  We did this prior to SP1 in lieu of requiring customers to wait for

these fixes to be rolled into a single service pack.  Beyond this, we improve the Windows Vista experience by

continuing to work closely with software partners to ensure application compatibility.  We likewise align efforts with

partners on the hardware side of the business to broaden the range of devices that work with Windows Vista and to

constantly improve device driver quality.

What is SP1?  What is it not?

In addition to updates we’ve previously released, SP1 will contain changes focused on addressing specific reliability

and performance issues we’ve identified via customer feedback, supporting new types of hardware, and adding

support for several emerging standards.  SP1 also makes additional improvements to the IT administration

experience.  We didn’t design SP1 as a vehicle for releasing new features; however, some existing components do

gain enhanced functionality in SP1.

More information on what’s included in SP1 can be found in the detailed white paper.

When can I get my hands on the Beta of SP1?

A Beta release of Windows Vista SP1 is slated for availability in the next few weeks.  A small group of testers

has been putting a preview of the SP1 Beta through its paces to help prepare for broader release.  We made the

choice to start with a very small group of testers because we think it’s better for both our customers and for

Microsoft to keep the beta program small at the start.

A later pre-release of SP1 will be available to a larger group of testers  via MSDN and TechNet subscribers.

And what about SP1 itself — when will that be available?

We're targeting releasing SP1 to manufacturing in the first quarter of 2008, but as always, we’re first and foremost

focused on delivering a high-quality release, so we'll determine the exact release date of SP1 after we have reached

that quality bar. (FYI, in case you didn’t already know:  the Windows Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008

engineering efforts are aligned, so the Server team also said on their blog today that they are targeting the first

quarter of 2008 for their release to manufacturing.)

—–

That’s all for now.  Expect more SP1 information here on the blog soon, as well as on MSDN and TechNet when

the time comes.  In the meantime, I’d encourage you to check out the Windows Vista SP1 white paper for more

detail.  Stay tuned!

 

Aussie Tech Head – iMac 20" or 24"????? – Aussie Tech Head
ok so im getting into mac and have been looking at macbooks, macbook pros and now im thinking of going for an

imac due to the fact that portablility isnt a necessity. but im faced with yet another damn decision – either

the 20" or 24" screen.

i looked at both in dj's today and the 24" seemed like a much better screen brightness and colour wise.

so, i will be connecting this up to a tv tuner – so itl be replacing a tv.

but i wonder will this thing be too big to just type on?
or use the net etc. games wont be a concern, but im sure once i get it i will have a go.

im not gonna be doing video, audio or picture editing, but ocassionally will be playing around with photoshop

fixing old photos.

and movies would be excellant on the 24"

$450 difference between 20 and 24"

any help would be tops, im so lost in the mac experience! just wanna get into it.

Aussie Tech Head – New iPods are sweet looking 🙂 – Aussie Tech Head
Hey All,

All of us Apple fans will be broke by the end of 2007 as Apple keep coming out with some of the hottest products.

Next they'll be bringing out a black Apple remote with the release of Leopard..LOL!

Seriously, Apple products ROCK!

– Chris

Aussie Tech Head – Re:Destruction of the Middle Class – Aussie Tech Head
We have a few migrants here from Somilia, Sudan, Ethiopia etc much more in the last couple of years. here is

an observation for you.

Last year I was on the train and at Edithvale two young African men got on. About 7 feet tall and perhaps from

Sudan, black as night they were. The older one, perhaps 18 was colourfully dressed and sported a magnificent

Bowler hat type apparatus at a jaunty angle. I was at the other end of the carriage and was admiring how they

were dressed. You have to be confident and comfortable in your surroundings to dress like that.

When the train got to Chelsea, the older one spotted a local lady, perhaps 80 waiting on the platform with her

shopping jeep. He got up from his seat and walked to the other end of the carriage and helped her on with the jeep.

Now that in itself was pretty amazing and it made me feel a bit ashamed that I hadnt done the same thing. The

lady was most greatful and I doubt she had seen anyone dressed like this before or from Africa or this tall and

black. I guess I was expecting her to be shocked.

So the train gets to Seaford and the bloke spots the lady getting up, he runs to the end of the carriage and

helps her off and lifts the jeep off for her.

I was now feeling about one inch tall. No "Australian" moved an inch.

What I learnt was that these people have so much more respect for the elderly compared to us in 2007.

I will never forget that act of courtesy and kindness. I have kept my eye out for him as I want to have a chat to

him and tell him what a fine young man he is, but I havent seen him before or since.

Pentagon email hacked | Australian IT

Pentagon email hacked

David Morgan in Washington | September 05, 2007

THE Pentagon said computer hackers gained access to an unclassified email system in the office of US

Defence Secretary Robert Gates, but declined comment on a report that the Chinese army was responsible.

China denied reports its military was behind a e system breach at the Pentagon

The security breach occurred late last spring when Defence Department monitors detected the penetration
of "elements of an unclassified email system" that was immediately taken off line, Pentagon spokesman Bryan
 Whitman told reporters.

The email system, in the office of the secretary of defence, did not return to full operation for up to three weeks.

"There was never any threat to the classified systems," Mr Whitman said.

"There was no disruption to (defence) operations or adverse impact to ongoing operations that the department
 was conducting … all precautionary measures were taken and the system was restored to service," he said.

Whitman spoke after the Financial Times newspaper quoted current and former US officials as saying that Chinese
 People's Liberation Army hackers broke into a Defence Department network in June and removed data.

China rejected the report's claims.

New 2007 iPods – a photoset on Flickr
New 2007 iPods

Games with strong online components outsell the competition

Games with strong online components outsell the competition

By Ben Kuchera | Published: September 06, 2007 – 12:47PM CT

Developing and publishing video games is a competitive business, but based on research from Electronic

Entertainment Design and Research, there are a few things that can seemingly lead to guaranteed higher

sales. That's not to say that there aren't interesting trends to spot, however, such as the critical role

online support plays in a game's success.

The study found that by adding online functionality into a game—more specifically the ability to play against

or with others—developers can generally double the amount of money your game makes. The finding in the

study is more intuitive: high quality games (defined as having a Metacritic score of 90+) can sell up to 531

percent more than the average. So now, the job is clear: make high-quality games, and don't forget the online

component. 

 

Samsung SyncMaster 940UX 19-inch LCD Monitor Review – ThinkComputers.org
Samsung SyncMaster 940N – Flat panel display – TFT – 19­ – 1280 x 1024 / 75 Hz – 300 cd/m2 – 700:1 ..
. (Silver) Monitor

Virgin broadband hits the canvass | Australian IT

VIRGIN mobile's new wireless broadband customers were left without internet services for at least five

hours this morning, the company has confirmed.

A spokeswoman for Virgin Mobile said the outage started sometime between 3am and 7am this morning, and
was restored at around 8am, an hour after technical staff returned to the carrier's broadband operation centre.

Virgin's technicians were not present to monitor the outage or restore the HSDPA broadband service when it
occurred, the company said.

"Virgin Mobile does not have the exact time when the outage occurred on hand at this time," the spokeswoman said.

"From 3am to 7am our call centre is closed as Virgin Mobile does not offer a 24 hour call centre service."

Virgin customers reported major difficulties reconnecting to the service around 8am this morning.

Customers that Australian IT spoke to and who asked not to be named said that it took 20 minutes to login to
 the service from around 8am today.

Microsoft challenges Google Apps | Australian IT

Microsoft challenges Google Apps

Correspondents in Seattle | September 06, 2007

MICROSOFT has introduced a suite of Windows Live online services bundled into a single download in its

latest effort to compete with Google's growing array of web-based applications.

Microsoft has released a test, or "beta," version of a free online software package available that includes version
 of email, instant messaging, photo gallery, blogging software and a security program.

The suite of web services – available at http://get.live.com/wl/all – will also automatically update with
improvements or new versions of those applications.

Microsoft said the software lays the foundation for other integrated Windows Live services due out in the
 "coming months."

The world's largest software maker aims to extend its dominance in desktop software running on computer hard
drives into a new world of services delivered through a web browser.

However, it faces a nimble and deep-pocketed rival in Google, which is also attempting to deliver an integrated
experience using a single log-in to offer email, calendar, productivity software and other services.

Optus may battle for Unwired | Australian IT

Optus may battle for Unwired

Michael Sainsbury | September 05, 2007

OPTUS could emerge as a counter-bidder for a share of wireless broadband company Unwired, which

yesterday confirmed that 10.38 per cent of its shares had been snapped up by interests associated with

Kerry Stokes' Seven Network.

Optus may vie for a share of wireless broadband provider Unwired

Seven investment Engin, which provides voice and broadband services, confirmed it was the buyer of a 10.38 per

cent shareholding in the Sydney-based internet service provider — as revealed in The Australian yesterday.

"If the price is right at the level of mid-30c we will look to acquire some more, but not over the 20 per cent

takeover provision," Engin executive chairman Neil Gamble said.

Unwired's share price fell 4c to 36.5c, down from the 40c Seven paid for most of its shares.

"It's a strategic stake and there is no other agenda.

"We see a strong rationale for Engin and Unwired working co-operatively," Mr Gamble said.

NBC backs away from iTunes | Australian IT

NBC backs away from iTunes

Correspondents in New York | September 03, 2007

NBC Universal has decided not to renew its contract to sell television shows on iTunes, becoming the

second major media company to challenge Apple dominance in digital entertainment.

Apple says NBC wanted to treble its wholesale price for TV content

Apple said NBC had sought to more than double the wholesale rate for each show, which Apple said would have
forced its iTunes online store to raise what it charged consumers to $US4.99 per ($6.08) TV show episode from
$US1.99.

"We are disappointed to see NBC leave iTunes because we would not agree to their dramatic price increase,"
Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president of iTunes, said.

NBC Universal disputed Apple's claim it had demanded double the wholesale price for its shows, adding that its
focus was on more flexibility including the ability to package shows together.

Apple said it has decided not to offer shows for download from NBC's upcoming season beginning in September,
including such popular series as "Heroes." NBC also disputed this and said its new shows would be available through
the duration of the contract, which expires at the end of December.

NBC Universal, which is controlled by General Electric, is the No. 1 supplier of digital video to iTunes.

Viacom, Walt Disney, Time Warner and News Corp also supply television programs to iTunes.

» 11 Neuroscientists Debunk a Common Myth about Brain Training   « Brain Fitness Revolution at Sharp
Last Monday, NPR (very good US-based radio station) had a program on "do brain training programs work?" that
reflected very old-fashioned thinking. In short, the guest speakers talked and talked about the importance of
nutrition and physical exercise (both very important, as we have covered in this blog multiple times), and
expressed skepticism about the concept of exercising our brains to improve attention, memory and other skills…
I guess it takes a while to change old mental paradigms (And yes, some programs work better than others).

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